Wakefield school pupil expulsions almost treble since 2010

The number of children being expelled from Wakefield schools has almost trebled in less than a decade.

Friday, 4th January 2019, 2:51 pm
Updated Wednesday, 9th January 2019, 1:25 pm
Persistent disruptive behaviour remains the most common reason for expulsion.

Across the district a total of 83 pupils were permanently excluded during the 2017/18 academic year, compared with just 30 in 2009/10.

A council report on the issue said that the figures showed a similar pattern to other authorities across the UK.

It added that the most common reasons for expelling a pupil were persistent disruptive behaviour, verbal abuse against an adult and physical assault on a pupil.

Factors including stress and school policies have been blamed for the rise.

All but two of the 83 children permanently excluded last year were from secondary schools, with the others from primaries.

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Why children are being expelled from Wakefield schools and where they are being ...

The report, which will be discussed by councillors next week, said that a special team run by the authority was working with schools to keep the number of expulsions down.

It said: "This year there has been an increase in permanent exclusions from 80 (2016/17) to 83 (2017/18).

"Boys are still more likely to be excluded than girls with a significant increase in permanent exclusions of boys in Year 10 and girls in Years 7 and 9.

"At least a further 18 permanent exclusions were avoided by the school exclusion team working with schools to look at creative solutions and support, or by offering a rigorous challenge at the governors meetings for permanent exclusions.

"Wakefield is in line with our colleagues regionally and nationally who are also seeing an increase in exclusions."

Last year a senior council worker said that head teachers were partly responsible for the rise in exclusions because they were "encouraging home schooling" among troublesome pupils.

Gary Stuart, who was then a member of the children's services team, said that other factors for the increase included a growing population and more stress.

Fixed period exclusions, where a pupil is told to stay away from school for a limited number of days, have also risen.

More than 1,800 youngsters across the district were subject to one of these in 2017/18, which resulted in nearly 11,000 days of school missed during the year.

The report also said there had been a "marked increase" in the number of punishments dished out for sexual misconduct among pupils.

One secondary school pupil was expelled for sexual misconduct last year, while more than 19 weeks of school was missed by other students who'd been temporarily excluded for it.

In numbers

Permanent exclusions in Wakefield schools in 2017/18 - 83

Permanent exclusions in Wakefield schools in 2009/10 - 30

Number of permanent exclusions for persistent disruptive behaviour in 2017/18 (most common reason) - 39

Proportion of expelled pupils who were in Years 9 and 10 - 49%

Number of fixed period exclusions in Wakefield schools in 2017/18 - 1,801

Number of school days lost to fixed period exclusions in Wakefield schools in 2017/18 - 10,699

Local Democracy Reporting Service